Tensioning Gang Ripsaw Blades

After proper adjustment, gang ripsaw blades should cut straight and true. May 23, 2007

I recently purchased a Woodmaster molder/planer. I bought Model 712 and upgraded to the 7.5HP motor. I am having a hard time setting up the gang rip - the blades are wobbling (using two 5 ½” blades). I am running ¾” poplar boards. Can anyone give me some advice on using the gang rip? So far I am happy with the machine and Woodmaster’s customer service has been great.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor F:
Do you mean blade deflection? If so use stabilizers. If it’s wobble it might be the shaft. Feed rate, dull blades, feed roller misalignment, motor/pulley/belt alignment, stuff like this can all play a factor. Woodmaster does not have a good motor/belt adjustment setup. Other guys have put the motor on a hinge type plate to do away with some of the inherent problems the Woodmaster has.

From the original questioner:
Blade deflection is not the problem. I have two 5 ½” blades mounted on the same shaft. When measuring blade one with my dial indicator the amount of wobble near the perimeter of the blade measures about 0.030" but the second blade measures about 0.015". The stabilizers I have found do not have a large enough arbor hole for the large shaft (I think it is a 1 ½” I need to measure) on the Woodmaster. I thought someone else might have experienced the same problem.

From contributor A:
The Woodmaster shaft is supported at both ends. There should be 0 run-out in the shaft unless it is extremely old. The second problem could be the blades. Sawblades are trued/tensioned when manufactured. The more expensive the blade the "truer" it comes. Forrest, Ridge, Tenyru have reputations for having the least wobble in the industry. I was under the impression that blade trueness is measured in thousandths of an inch on well made blades.

I have a Woodmaster with the gangblades. I have never used them in 6 years. Check your method of dial indicator setup. Instead of placing the tip on the tips of the teeth, try first placing the testing tip below the teeth on the plate. You will get an easier reading. Then check the teeth if you still see such a problem.

From the original questioner:
I am placing my dial indicator below the teeth on the plate as you described when getting the read outs I mentioned earlier. Would you like to sell your blades? Or does anyone know were I could buy top quality blades that will work on the Woodmaster? I have been in the wood molding business for 18 years and I have 7 employees but I have always purchased my profiles milled. I purchased the Woodmaster for very small runs and it is working but I think that the gang rip should work as well - am I wrong?

From contributor T:
The problem you're having can be fixed by proper adjustment of the blade collars. The amount of tension needs to be evenly applied around those blades. If not, you will experience exactly what you are. I have a 25" machine and it gang-rips just fine. Your owner's manual goes over the procedure to get the blades spinning true.

From the original questioner:
There are 4 screws on each collar, one on the shaft and three on the face. Do you primarily work with the screw on the shaft of the collars or on the face? Is there any pattern or process to adjusting the blades?

From contributor T:
Just tension the three screws on the face of the collar in even amounts until all three are tightened evenly.